Cupping his fist in a respectful bow, Seran greeted the ancient legend, "Thank you for taking the time to listen to this young one. I am Seran Greenwood, I shall refrain from mentioning my titles for they are not as impressive as yours." Even if his [World's Strongest Demigod] title declared his status as exceeding Barnett's own, he nonetheless deferred to the other as superior due to his legendary conqueror achievements and his 2000 years of dedicated protection of the Western Continent. Seran was only 11 years old, at any rate, and he was always deeply respectful to his elders.
Barnett's stoic expression remained uncracked, "There would be no need to tell them to me anyway, as Lady Demeter answered my inquiry three months prior. She also mentioned your general behaviour, giving me cause to agree with her that you would likely aim for mutual neutrality or an alliance between this empire and your Greenwood Kingdom."
The young demigod nodded, "That is correct, sir. As long as trade between us is unrestricted, both of us will benefit greatly. At the same time, the long-isolated elves of the Primeval Forest will slowly coalesce into a true nation through mine. In this way, it'll be a three-way benefit. Once the elves become a nation, I'm sure Queen Layla will speak with you personally, as she mentioned once that she desired to do so before but her people lacked the unity necessary for her to truly be the queen of the Primeval Forest elves." With a small smile, Seran said, "Also, she wanted to convey her understanding of your intent to unite the continent."
This caused the otherwise emotionless eyes to flicker a bit with mild interest, "It seems the current holder of the Elf Queen title saw the truth where her predecessors did not. Most impressive." The ancient Starsword strapped to the wall shivered a little at the change of emotions in its owner, indicating to Seran that it had long since developed its own spirit. "My intent of continental unity was well-known by the time I set aside my sword, and the various races of the continent came to understand it through the actions of what followed. Only the ruler of the Primeval Forest Elves stubbornly persisted in ignorance of my true goal, as they did for the following three generations. Such mentalities can be attributed to their long-standing isolationism, for they would otherwise know of the unending chaos that existed before I took up my sword."
"I agree. Queen Layla is also the only Elf Queen that has ever left the forest, setting out to understand the world outside of the forest. During her journeys, she ended up becoming acquainted with a young human girl that would eventually become the Oracle two generations prior to the current one. This helped her narrow view on the world broaden." Seran shifted in place a little due to his stiff leg muscles, "Now, she believes the time has come for the elves to break their self-imposed chains and open up to the world bit by bit."
A silent period of time hovered in the gazebo before the ancient conqueror spoke again, "I would be most interested in speaking with this young queen when the time comes. As for the two nations of the Greenwood Kingdom and the Eridan Empire, so long as the agreement of mutual benefit stands, I can agree to the total independent sovereignty of your kingdom. With time, perhaps an alliance may form."
Bowing out of deep respect to the Ancestral Emperor, the young demigod thanked him for taking the time to listen to his ramblings. Emperor Valinor followed up by explaining Seran's acceptance of Andrew as a disciple and the various completions of high-ranking quests, of which only the Elder Lich caught his attention. With his extensive combat experience and unparalleled wisdom from centuries of age, he understood the severity of such a being far more than any other. If the Elder Lich had received enough time to ascend to the peak of its potential, only he and Seran possessed the chance of victory against it. Hearing that the undead entity had been thoroughly destroyed, however, put his briefly startled mind at ease again. Of course, as he could not verify the Elder Lich's true identity without meeting the Oracle first, Seran did not bring it up.
Seran did mention one other thing before he forgot to, "I'd like this to remain extremely confidential, but I discovered an ancient Fairy Race tomb where the Elder Lich had taken residence... According to the texts on the doors, on the sarcophagus and the base of the aged statue... it was the tomb of [Assassin King] Eric Astheme, the last of the royal bloodline of the Fairies."
For the first time in any recent memory, true emotion showed on Barnett's stony visage as his eyes widened with surprise, "Impossible. If such a place existed, I would have long since discovered it."
"The doors of the tomb were enchanted to hide it from all senses, meaning the only way to find it was to do so in person. As for whether it is real or not, the emblem of the Sword of Hope was emblazoned on the doors and the sarcophagus, while the statue was made in the last Fairy Prince's image. Only two people at the time remained that could not only use that emblem but create the likeness of the person himself in such detail." Seran used a spell to create an illusion of the Fairy Prince's statue and sarcophagus, "This was the statue I saw in the tomb. The emblem can be seen on the sarcophagus as well."
The aged legend took quite a while to return to his previous stoicism, though his eyes now held a look of reverence as he viewed the illusion. "For such a place to exist, it could indeed only be the work of those two individuals... I understand why it was made in such a manner. Let us not spread the word of this discovery so as not to disturb the peace of a hero's grave."
The topic of the Polypheme Sect incident followed this, marking the most important topic of the meeting. Other than a reiteration of the prior conversation in the side hall earlier, very little else was spoken between the visitors. By the end of the meeting, Barnett had agreed to assist in any way he could with the investigation, to the point of once more taking up his sword should something go awry. If he did indeed do so, the continent would quake as it once did 300 years prior.
Almost didn't make it on time. Woo!
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